A hammertoe is a deformity that causes a toe to become bent upward in the middle so it resembles a hammer. This can cause the toe to rub against the top of the shoe or irritate the end of the toe by jamming it into the ground. Hammertoes often occur in conjunction with other toe problems. It is possible to develop corns (calluses) on top of the middle joint of the hammertoe from rubbing against the top of the shoe.
Patients who have hammertoes try to manage them by treating the symptoms. This involves padding the toe and changing or stretching shoes for comfort. If you still experience discomfort from the hammertoe you may consider surgery.
The hammertoe can be flexible or stiff. Depending on the flexibility of the toe and the preference of your orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon, several different surgeries are used to treat the hammertoe.